Park Safety Tips: A Refresher for Parents, Kids & Caregivers
Health & Safety

Park Safety Tips: A Refresher for Parents, Kids & Caregivers

by Martha Scully

What kid doesn’t like going to the park, right? It’s a great place for the kids to let loose, burn off some energy, and have a great time.

While the park is a great place to spend the day, it still can be dangerous. Play equipment, rough terrain, other kids, and even strangers all pose a potential threat to kids.

It’s not just the kids who need to pay attention to safety, either. Adults and caregivers need to be proactive to ensure the park is and remains a safe environment for the kids. The following is a refresher for kids and adults about park safety. We’ll outline park safety tips for kids and adults.


Park Safety Tips for Kids

The focus for any child at the park is to have fun and play. Therefore, it’s important for parents and caregivers to talk to their children about how to play safely at the park for the safety of themselves and other children using the play equipment.

Here are some important park safety messages to get across to the kids:

  • You need to share play equipment and structures with other kids
  • Be patient and wait your turn
  • Never push or be forceful with other kids
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Play safely – don’t do anything that makes you nervous or scared
  • Always hold onto safety railings
  • Stay a safe distance away from moving object such as swings
  • Always go down the slide feet first
  • If you get stuck on play equipment, ask for help
  • Notify an adult immediately if you or another child is hurt

Teaching your kids these tips will help them be a safer and more aware child when they play.

Park Safety Tips for Adults

Adult and caregivers need to be proactive about park safety. Here is what you can do to create a safe environment for the kids:

Choose a good park

You have control over which park you take the kids to. Choose a park that has safe equipment, is in a safe area, and has a good reputation in the community.

#### Do an equipment safety check#### Even if you have been to the park many times, it’s important to check out all play equipment before the kids start using it.

#### Know your child’s limits####
Your child’s limits will depend on a number of factors such as their age, size, and development. Know what your kids can and cannot do safely. For example, don’t allow them to play on the monkey bars if they are not strong enough to hold themselves up. Also, know the signs of when they are getting tired and take them home for a rest/nap.

#### Don’t lose sight of the kids####
Your main job is to keep an eye on the kids. Don’t lose sight of them. The park is not the time to stare at your phone.

Bring a first aid kit

You never know what could happen, especially at the park with lots of kids running around and playing on equipment. Having a first aid kit, just in case, allows you to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.

Dress properly

Choose clothing for the kids that won’t get caught in the play equipment. Also, make sure to dress them in shoes that provide good grip and protection.

Bring water and snacks

The kids will work up a sweat and get thirsty as they play. Make sure to bring plenty of water and even a snack so they can fuel up and remain hydrated.

Bring sunscreen

Even if the weather is overcast and not that warm, too much sun exposure in not good for kids. Make sure the kids are slathered up before you make the trip to the park.

These tips will ensure you put your kids in the best position possible to have fun and reduce the odds of an issue arising.

Teach the Kids About Stranger Danger

One of the most important topics that directly applies to spending time at the park are strangers. It’s important that children know not to talk to strangers. It’s also important for adults to always be on the lookout for suspicious individuals who could pose a threat to kids at the park.

Stacie Haight Connerty from Babble provides some advice about talking to your kids about strangers:

“My children know not to talk to strangers, but this can be tough at the park when all of the kids are playing with each other. While they are allowed to talk to and play with other children, they must let me know immediately if an adult talks to them or asks them to do something. This rarely happens, but I remind my kids every time we drive to the park.”


Conclusion

Keeping the park safe is a collective effort between kids and adults. Taking the time to review park safety and making sure that you, as a caregiver, are prepared and dedicated to making the park safe for your kids will help make it a safe and fun experience for everyone.


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.